B-153921, MAY 8, 1964

B-153921: May 8, 1964

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FOREST SERVICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 25. HE WAS AWAKENED BY A TELEPHONE CALL AT HIS HOME IN CRESTLINE. HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED AS NORMAL SLEEPING HOURS. WERE DEDUCTED FROM MR. IS WHETHER THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY MR. THEREBY ENTITLING HIM TO OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR THE TIME HE WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS. A COPY OF THE LAST IS ENCLOSED. NORMAL AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS WHERE WORK IS TO BE PERFORMED MAY NOT. SPECIFICALLY DESCRIBES THOSE SITUATIONS WHICH ARE REGARDED AS ARDUOUS AND FOR WHICH TRAVEL TIME IS COMPENSATED. ARE CONSISTENT WITH OUR DECISIONS B-134442. COPIES OF WHICH ALSO ARE ENCLOSED. JOHNSON OUTSIDE OF HIS REGULARLY SCHEDULED TOUR OF DUTY IS NOT COMPENSABLE.

B-153921, MAY 8, 1964

TO MR. L. P. WILSEY, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FOREST SERVICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 25, 1964, REFERENCE 6540, REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISIONS AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. RICHARD F. JOHNSON, FIRE PREVENTION OFFICER, AT THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOREST SERVICE, CALIFORNIA REGION, CONCERNING WHETHER FORCED EMERGENCY TRAVEL BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 6 A.M. TO 8 A.M. MAY BE CONSIDERED WORK ENTITLING AN EMPLOYEE TO COMPENSATION THEREFOR.

THE NARRATIVE STATEMENT PREPARED BY MR. JOHNSON DISCLOSES THAT ON JULY 23, 1963, AT 4:30 A.M. HE WAS AWAKENED BY A TELEPHONE CALL AT HIS HOME IN CRESTLINE, CALIFORNIA, BY A FIRE DISPATCHER, DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED IMMEDIATELY TO SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUPPRESSING A FIRE. MR. JOHNSON LEFT HIS HOME AT 5 A.M. DRIVING AN ASSIGNED OFFICIAL FOREST SERVICE SEDAN AND ARRIVED AT HIS DESTINATION AT 9 A.M., THE TRIP REQUIRING 4 HOURS OF TRAVEL.

SINCE THE HOURS OF 10 P.M. TO 6 A.M. HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED AS NORMAL SLEEPING HOURS, BY THE REGIONAL FORESTER OR STATION DIRECTOR UNDER APPROPRIATE REGULATORY AUTHORITY, THE 2 HOURS IN ISSUE (6 A.M. TO 8 A.M.) WERE DEDUCTED FROM MR. JOHNSON'S ORIGINAL TIME REPORT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULE IN OUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 23, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 433.

THE SPECIFIC QUESTION FOR DETERMINATION IN THIS CASE, IS WHETHER THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY MR. JOHNSON MAY BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN CARRIED OUT UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 204 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 912 (B), THEREBY ENTITLING HIM TO OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR THE TIME HE WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS.

TRAVEL HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE PERFORMED UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES CONSIDERED IN OUR DECISIONS IN 34 COMP. GEN.796, 33 ID. 274, AND B-118805, DATED APRIL 7, 1954. A COPY OF THE LAST IS ENCLOSED.

NORMAL AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS WHERE WORK IS TO BE PERFORMED MAY NOT, HOWEVER, BE VIEWED AS TRAVEL UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS. THE FOREST SERVICE MANUAL AND HANDBOOK, TITLE 6100--- PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, SECTION 6152.52A, SPECIFICALLY DESCRIBES THOSE SITUATIONS WHICH ARE REGARDED AS ARDUOUS AND FOR WHICH TRAVEL TIME IS COMPENSATED. THESE REGULATIONS WHICH DO NOT INCLUDE MR. JOHNSON'S SITUATION, ARE CONSISTENT WITH OUR DECISIONS B-134442, DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1958; B-120896, DATED OCTOBER 7, 1954, COPIES OF WHICH ALSO ARE ENCLOSED, AND 40 COMP. GEN. 439.

ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE TIME (6 A.M. TO 8 A.M.) SPENT IN THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY MR. JOHNSON OUTSIDE OF HIS REGULARLY SCHEDULED TOUR OF DUTY IS NOT COMPENSABLE. THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER, IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY NOT BE PROPERLY CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.